With prices of Manhattan hotels as high as her skyscrapers, Vetiver in Long Island City was a good, affordable, alternative to staying in Manhattan. The 39Av subway was just 70m walk away from the hotel and 2 stops from 59St/Lexington Ave in Manhattan. While the surrounding location looked industrial, we felt safe walking to/from the subway even late at night. There were a few eateries around the area as well as a restaurant/cafe in the hotel itself but we never tried them since we spent all day in Manhattan.
Having driven in from Cape Cod, we found limited paid parking in the street in front of the hotel (15min for a quarter), which was useful for unloading our luggage and parking temporarily until we returned our rental car later in Manhattan.
Our family of 4 shared a room on the 8th floor (the hotel had 9 floors) with a balcony that provided a good view of Manhattan city skyline. The room and bathroom was sufficiently large that we never felt claustrophobic, like some Manhattan box hotels. Room was clean, beds were comfortable and equipped with TV, in-room safe, coffee/tea maker and hairdryer but no fridge.
Breakfast was adequate - don't expect a Comfort Inn/Country Inn/Hampton Inn/La Quinta hot breakfast. While reasonable in size, the breakfast area got filled quickly (the hotel was full during our stay). The only hotel lift was slow, so just getting down from a high floor to the breakfast room in the lower ground floor meant a long wait during busy mornings.
Service was a mixed bag, with some helpful staff and some not so customer-oriented. NYC was our last stop in our 4-week road trip of the northeastern US, and we had encountered good friendly service from most of the 10 hotels/motels we had stayed at prior to Vetiver, so by comparison this was average at best. Perhaps it's just NYC, as our interactions with others here, be they subway staff, cab drivers or other service personnel just didn't live up to what we had experienced elsewhere on our trip.
Another nice thing was that on our day of departure, the hotel arranged a private transfer for us to JFK airport which cost USD45 (cheaper than a cab). The pick up arrived punctually in a spacious car and brought us to JFK within half hour (this was a Sat morning - on weekdays, heavy traffic can mean 1-2 hours getting to the airport, so plan accordingly).
Slow lift and mixed service aside, if you're visiting NYC, we would still highly recommend staying at Vetiver for it's convenient location and affordability.